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Phrasal Verb - A

Abide (1)


Abide by

- Accept or follow a decision or rule

e.g. We have to ABIDE BY what the court says.


 Account (1)

Account for

- To explain

e.g. They had to ACCOUNT FOR all the money that had gone missing.


Ache (1)

Ache for

- Want something or someone a lot

e.g. My partner's been away for a fortnight- I am ACHING FOR her.


Act (4)

Act on

- To take action because of something like information received

e.g. The police were ACTING ON a tip from an informer and caught the gang red-handed.

- Affect

e.g. The medicine only ACTS ON infected tissue.

Act out

- Perform something with actions and gestures.

e.g. They ACTED OUT the story on stage.

- Express an emotion in your behaviour

e.g. Their anger is ACTED OUT in their antisocial behaviour.

Act up

- Behave badly or strangely

e.g. My computer's ACTING UP; I think I might have a virus.

Act upon

- To take action because of something like information received

e.g. The police were ACTING UPON a tip-off.

- Affect

e.g. The enzyme ACTS UPON certain proteins.


Add (3)

Add on

- Include in a calculation

e.g. You have to ADD the VAT ON to the price they give.

Add up

- To make a mathematical total

e.g. We ADDED UP the bill to check it was correct.

- Be a satisfactory explanantion for something

e.g. She explained why the work wasn't ready, but her story doesn't ADD UP.

Add up to

- Have a certain result

e.g. Trains delays are getting worse and with the high fares, it all ADDS UP TO misery for the commuters.

- Come to a certain amount or figure

e.g. The total costs ADD UP TO several million euros.


Agree (1)

Agree with

- Affect- usually used in the negative to show that something has had a negative effect, especially is it makes you feel bad

e.g. I feel terrible- that food didn't AGREE WITH my stomach.


Aim (1)


Aim at

- To target

e.g. The magazine is AIMED AT teenagers.


- Intend to achieve

e.g. They're AIMING AT reducing costs by ten percent.


Allow (2)

Allow for

- Include something in a plan or calculation

e.g. You should ALLOW FOR delays when planning a journey.

Allow of

- Make possible, permit

e.g. The rules don't ALLOW OF any exceptions.


Angle (1)

Angle for

- Try to get something indirectly, by hinting or suggesting

e.g. He's been ANGLING FOR an invitation, but I don't want him to come.


Answer (2)

Answer back

- To reply rudely to someone in authority

e.g. Her mother was shocked when she started ANSWERING her BACK and refusing to help.

Answer for

- Be held responsible for a problem

e.g. The government should be made to ANSWER FOR their failure to sort out the problem.

- Speak on behalf of someone or from knowing them

e.g. I can ANSWER FOR my partner because I know her position on this issue.


Argue (2)

Argue down

- Beat someone in a debate, discussion or argument

e.g. The teacher tried to ARGUE the girl DOWN, but she couldn't.

- Persuade someone to drop the price of something they're selling

e.g. She ARGUED him DOWN ten percent.

- Try to persuade people not to accept a proposition, motion, etc

e.g. They tried to ARGUE DOWN the proposal.

Argue out

- Argue about a problem to find a solution

e.g. If we can't ARGUE our differences OUT, we'll have to take them to court.


Ask (8)

Ask about

- Ask how someone is doing, especially professionally and in terms of health

e.g. He ASKED ABOUT my father.

Ask after

- Enquire about someone's health, how life is going

e.g. Jenny rang earlier and ASKED AFTER you, so I told her you were fine.

Ask around

- Ask a number of people for information of help

e.g. I have no idea, but I'll ASK AROUND at work and see if anyone can help.

- Invite someone

e.g. We ASKED them AROUND for dinner.

Ask for

- To provoke a negative reaction

e.g. You're ASKING FOR trouble.

- Request to have or be given

e.g. I ASKED FOR the menu.

Ask in

- To invite somebody into your house

e.g. 'Jon's at the door.' 'ASK him IN.'

Ask out

- To invite someone for a date

e.g. He wanted to ASK her OUT but was too shy.

Ask over

- Invite

e.g. They have ASKED us OVER for drinks on Friday.

Ask round

- Invite someone

e.g. We ASKED John ROUND for diner.


Auction (1)

Auction off

- Sell something in an auction

e.g. They AUCTIONED OFF their property as they were heavily in debt.


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